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Udon Thani's Mass Transit System. (Part 1)

 
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thaitransit



Age: 38
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 40
Location: Mahachai City

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Udon Thani's Mass Transit System. (Part 1) Reply with quote

After returning from Vientiane Laos. I stopped at Udon Thani for a few days to meet with local friends before returning to Bangkok. During my time in Udon Thani I managed to get some photographs of the local and intercity buses that operate out of Udon Thani.

Background information on Udon Thani.

Udon Thani is a major rural city located approximately 50 km from the Lao border in North East (Isarn) Thailand. The name Udon Thani means “Northern City” It has a population of over 150,000 in its urban area. Udon Thani started out as a small trading outpost which during the 1960s rapidly grew due to a large US air force base being built outside of Udon Thani. This air force base is no longer used by the US but still sees use by the Thai air force and Singaporean air force for training purposes.

Today Udon Thani is growing again with a number of new hotels and shopping centres all opening in the last few years. The urban area is rapidly increasing in density as the economy of Udon Thani improves. Part of Udon's economic growth comes from increasing numbers of older foreigners who relocated to Udon Thani from the US and Europe to retire. They are attracted to Udon Thani by the far lower living costs than Europe as well as access to modern urban infrastructure like shopping centres and hospitals. Many of them are also attracted to Udon for the better climate and ease of finding a local companion to live with them.

Despite its popularity and economic growth Udon Thani has to compete with two other Issarn cities these are Khon Kaen and Korat. Both of these cites are larger than Udon Thani in population with quite different economies. They are less reliant on tourists and older retired foreign residents. Khon Kaen is a education and research hub for the Issarn region. Where as Korat is more of a manufacturing base for the Issarn region.

The urban layout of Udon Thani is fairly typical for a rural Thai city with a spread out innercity commercial area with large mostly residential area around the innercity. But like most Thai cities there is no defined central business area. The city has a fairly high urban density for its small size.

The mass transit system of Udon Thani is made up of mostly high frequency “truck – bus” services with only one full size bus route that uses very old non aircon buses. Besides the urban mass transit Udon Thani has two large bus terminals that service its large rural hinterland and link Udon Thani to other cities in Issarn as well as Bangkok. The main bus terminal is located in the innercity and provides service to all parts of Issarn as well as Bangkok. The other bus terminal is located a 20 minute bus ride to the north west of Udon Thani. This bus terminal provides service to Chiang Mai and other northern Thailand destinations as well as Loei. This terminal is fairly quiet compared to the main terminal.

6. This is a general view of a number of buses lined up waiting to depart from the right side of the bus terminal. Most of these buses service rural areas around Udon and also link Udon to other parts of Issarn.



8. This is a shot of a Route 231: Udon Thani – Nakhon Phanom bus. Taken as it waits to depart from the bus terminal. Bus number 231 – 50. Bus type Volvo 2nd class aircon intercity.



9. This is a shot of a Route 296: Udon Thani – Kham Ta Kla bus. Taken as it waits to depart from the bus terminal. Bus number 296 – 14. Bus type Merc non aircon intercity.



12. This is another angle on the Route 20 Scania double deck VIP bus. The seating on this bus is 1 + 2 layout. Some of these buses have seat back entertainment systems similar to aircraft.



13. This is a shot of a Route 241: Udon Thani – Sakhon Nakhon – Ubon Ratchthani bus. Taken as it was departing the bus terminal. Bus number 241 – 2. Bus type unknown 1st class aircon.



15. This is an image of a Route 268: Udon Thani – Khon Kaen – Udon Ratchthani bus. Taken as it was arriving at the bus terminal. Bus number 268 – 23. Bus type Merc 1st class aircon intercity.



16. This is an image of a Route 211: Udon Thani – Korat bus. Taken as it was arriving at the bus terminal. Bus number 211 – 30. Bus type Unknown 2nd class aircon intercity.



17. This is an image of a Route 268 bus taken as it was heading to the bus holding area outside of the bus terminal. Bus number 268 – 32. Bus type Merc aircon 2nd class intercity.



19. This is a shot of a Route 4381: Udon Thani – Wang Sam Mo bus. Taken as it was departing the bus terminal. Bus number 4381 – 11. Bus type Merc non aircon intercity.



24. This is an image of bus number 230 – 39. Taken as it was departing the bus terminal. Note how the door is still open as they drive off. Bus type Merc 2nd class aircon intercity.



If you would like to see more pictures and information regarding the mass transit system of Udon Thani then please visit:

http://thaitransit.blogspot.com/2010/02/udon-thanis-mass-transit-system.html

I hope you enjoyed the images and information on Udon Thani's mass transit system. If you have any comments or questions about this topic please post some comments below.
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ripta42
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Age: 40
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Posts: 1032
Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The older Mercedes buses appear to share taillights and marker lights with cars.
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